compare credit cards Canada

Compare Credit Cards in Canada

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Last updated on August 8, 2019 Views: 547 Comments: 2
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Canadians are lucky, in that we have a rich and far-reaching variety of credit cards available to us. We can easily find a card that suits our individual lifestyle and habits, the brands we love, our credit scores, and more. The only consequence of this variety is that it can be difficult to sort through the masses and choose the card that is most optimal for us. This is why GreedyRates exists: to help Canadians thoroughly comprehend the options available and make an informed decision.

TRAVEL/REWARDS: TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite

  • This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For Quebec residents, please see https://www.td.com/ca/en/personal-banking/products/credit-cards/aeroplan/aeroplan-visa-infinite-card/.
  • Apply by December 1, 2019 to get an Annual Fee Rebate¹ for the Primary Cardholder for the first year and earn up to 40,000 Aeroplan Miles (equivalent to 2 premium economy short-haul roundtrip flight rewards)1 as follows: Welcome Bonus of 15,000 Aeroplan Miles when you make your first Purchase with your card¹. + Earn 2X Aeroplan Miles on eligible Purchases in the first three months up to a total of 20,000 Miles¹. + Earn 5,000 Aeroplan Miles when you add an Authorized User to your Account by December 1, 2019. Annual Fees for Authorized Users continue to apply¹.
  • Earn Aeroplan Miles with every Purchase made on your Card and arrive at your dream destination sooner.
  • Enjoy Air Canada® benefits while travelling³.
Special offer
Limited time offer! Earn up to 40,000 Aeroplan Miles (equivalent to 2 premium economy short-haul roundtrip flight rewards)¹ and first year no Annual Fee¹ for the Primary Cardholder. Conditions Apply. Offer ends December 1, 2019.
Apply Now

REWARDS: American Express Gold Rewards Card

  • Card type: charge card.
  • New American Express Gold Rewards Cardmembers can earn a Welcome Bonus of 25,000 Membership Rewards points (conditions apply) just by making $1,500 in purchases in the first three months of Cardmembership.
  • That’s enough to redeem for a round-trip Fixed Mileage Flight Reward to almost anywhere in North America.
  • Earn 2 points for every $1 on eligible travel and  everyday purchases. Earn one point for every $1 in Card purchases everywhere else.
Why we love it
Card type: charge card.Transfer points to Aeroplan 1:1 or pay for ANY travel with points. Bonus of 25,000 Rewards points (conditions apply), an approx. $250 cash value. First additional card is free!
Apply Now

CASH BACK: Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Cash Back Card

  • First year annual fee waived¹
  • 4% on eligible gas station and grocery store purchases.
  • 2% on eligible gas station and daily transit purchases
  • 1% cash back on all other eligible everyday purchases.
Why we love it
First year annual fee waived
Apply Now

REWARDS: American Express Cobaltᵀᴹ Credit Card

  • In your first year as a new Cobaltᵀᴹ Cardmember, you can earn 2,500 Membership Rewards® points for each monthly billing period in which you spend $500 in net purchases on your Card. This could add up to 30,000 points in a year.
  • 30,000 points is enough for: An eligible short-haul flight using the Fixed Points Travel Program, or $300 in statement credits redeemed towards travel purchases charged to your Card or $300 worth of tickets on Ticketmaster.ca.
  • Earn 5 points for every $1 spent on Card purchases at eligible restaurants, bars, grocery stores and food delivery in Canada.
  • Earn 2 points for every $1 spent on eligible transit & gas purchases in Canada and eligible travel purchases. That's 2X the points on purchases that get you from point A to B.
Why we love it
In your first year as a new Cobaltᵀᴹ Cardmember, you can earn 2,500 Membership Rewards® points for each monthly billing period in which you spend $500 in net purchases on your Card. This could add up to 30,000 points in a year.
Apply Now

TRAVEL: Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card

  • Earn up to 35,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points in your first year (that’s up to $350 towards travel )‡
  • Earn 2x Scotia Rewards® points on every $1 you spend on eligible grocery stores, dining, entertainment purchases and daily transit purchases (including buses, subways, taxis and more)
  • Enjoy no FX Mark-up
  • Enjoy Complimentary Airport Lounge Access, plus 6 free lounge visits per year
Why we love it
Earn up to 35,000 bonus points in your first year†.
Apply Now

REWARDS/TRAVEL: Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

  • Welcome Bonus up to 30,000
  • Earn 4 pts/$1 you spend on eligible gas, grocery, dining and entertainment
  • Earn 1 pt/$1 everywhere else
  • Complimentary Concierge Services 24/7
Why we love it
Eligibility:
Min. income: $0
Credit score: 740-850
Apply Now

CASH BACK: Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

  • No Annual Fee
  • In the first three months of cardmembership, earn 4% Money-Back Rewards on purchases in up to 3 Money-Back Categories of your choice (offer ends October 31, 2019)
  • Earn 2% cash back on purchases in up to 3 categories of your choice
  • 0.5% Money-Back Rewards on all other purchases
Why we love it
Sign-Up Offer: Earn 4% in Money-Back Rewards on purchases in up to 3 Money-Back Categories of your choice
Apply Now

BAD CREDIT: Capital One Low Rate Guaranteed Mastercard

  • Annual interest rate for cash advances is 19.8%.
  • Low annual interest rate of 14.9% on purchases and balance transfers.
  • May help you strengthen your credit history.
  • If you're approved for a Secured card, security funds will be required.
Why we love it
Low annual interest rate of 14.9% on purchases and balance transfers. May help you strengthen your credit history.
Apply Now

TRAVEL/NO FOREIGN FEES: Home Trust Preferred Visa

  • Low interest rate of 14.9% - great if you carry a balance
  • Virtually everyone is approved
  • Excellent opportunity to establish your credit rating
  • Payment history is reported to Equifax & TransUnion monthly to help rebuild credit
Why we love it
Great low interest option if you carry a balance. Build or re-build your credit, even if you've had credit difficulties in the past, or have never had a credit card before.
Apply Now

CASH BACK: TD Cash Back Visa Infinite*

  • This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For Quebec residents, please see https://www.td.com/ca/en/personal-banking/products/credit-cards/cash-back/cash-back-visa-infinite-card/
  • Earn 10% on all purchases for the first 3 months¹ up to a total spend of $2,000. Plus, pay no annual fee¹ for the first year. Offer ends December 1, 2019.
  • Earn 3% in Cash Back Dollars on eligible grocery Purchases and gas Purchases³, and on regularly recurring bill payments⁴ set up on your Account.
  • Earn 1% in Cash Back Dollars on all other Purchases made with your Card⁵.
Why we love it
Welcome Bonus: Earn 10% on all purchases for the first 3 months¹ up to a total spend of $2,000. Plus, pay no annual fee¹ for the first year. Conditions apply. Offer ends December 1, 2019.
Apply Now

REWARDS/TRAVEL: Rogers World Elite Mastercard

  • Earn 4% unlimited cash back rewards on all your eligible purchases made in a foreign currency.
  • Earn 2% unlimited cash back rewards on Rogers™ products and services charged to your card including your Rogers, Fido™or chatr™ monthly bill.
  • Earn 1.75% unlimited cash back rewards on all other eligible purchase.
  • The options are endless! Mastercard is accepted at over 44 million locations worldwide, so it’s your choice how you wish to use your rewards, including: 1. RogersTM and FidoTM products and services; 2. Gas, groceries, restaurants and other everyday purchases; 3. Flights, gifts, home improvements or other big ticket purchases – and more!
Why we love it
Earn 4% unlimited cash back rewards on all your eligible purchases made in a foreign currency, 2% unlimited cash back rewards on Rogers™ products and services charged to your card including your Rogers, Fido™or chatr™ monthly bill, and 1.75% unlimited cash back rewards on all other eligible purchase.
Apply Now

REWARDS/TRAVEL: BMO World Elite Mastercard

  • Get up to $540 in your first year*.
  • Welcome offer: Get 35,000 points and the $150 annual fee waived in the first year ($250 travel value booked on bmorewards.com + $150 Value*).
  • Complimentary membership in Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey, with exclusive VIP access, plus four annual complimentary passes* ($140 Value/Year).
  • Get 3 BMO Rewards points for every $1 spent on travel, dining and entertainment purchases*
Why we love it
Get up to $540 in your first year*. Welcome offer: Get 35,000 points and the $150 annual fee waived in the first year ($250 travel value booked on bmorewards.com + $150 Value*). Read below for more promotional features.
Apply Now

BAD CREDIT: Capital One Guaranteed Secured Mastercard

  • Guaranteed access to credit.
  • May help you establish or re-establish your credit history.
  • Security funds required.
  • Annual interest rate of 19.8%.
Why we love it
Guaranteed access to credit, may help you establish or re-establish your credit history.
Apply Now

CASH BACK: The SimplyCash Card from American Express

  • New SimplyCash™ Card from American Express Cardmembers can earn 2.5% cash back on purchases (up to $150 cash back) for the first 3 months of Cardmembership.
  • Earn 1.25% cash back on purchases when your Welcome Rate ends.
  • No limit to the amount of cash back you can earn after your Welcome Rate ends.
  • Optional Balance Transfer Offer – Enjoy a 1.99% interest in first 6 months of Cardmembership if you choose to transfer your other credit card balances to this American Express card.
Why we love it
New SimplyCash™ Card from American Express Cardmembers can earn 2.5% cash back on purchases (up to $150 cash back) for the first 3 months of Cardmembership.
Apply Now

TRAVEL/REWARDS: BMO SPC Air Miles Mastercard

  • Welcome offer: Get up to 800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles*.
  • Plus get double the Miles on every purchase at participating AIR MILES Partners*.
  • Get 1 reward mile for every $20 in credit card purchases*.
  • No annual fee*.
Why we love it
Welcome offer: Get up to 800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles*.*Terms and conditions apply.
Apply Now

BAD CREDIT: Refresh Financial Secured Visa

  • No credit check.
  • Low $200 minimum deposit.
  • Free online financial management courses called f.i.t. (financial intelligence training).
  • Super-low declined transaction fee of $0.10.
Why we love it
Available without a credit check. Great fit for those with poor credit scores and/or bankruptcy history!
Apply Now

LOW INTEREST: Scotia Value Visa

  • 0.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers and cash advances for the first 6 months* Save hundreds of dollars in interest a year.
  • Low 12.99% interest rate.
  • Pay down balances faster.
  • Simplify your monthly payments.
Why we love it
0.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers and cash advances for the first 6 months* Save hundreds of dollars in interest a year.
Apply Now

*American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply link.

We’ve developed a comparison system for examining all the best credit cards by a plethora of important factors, including annual fee, interest rate, issuer, recommended credit score and more. Dig into our wealth of credit card reviews, blogs, and other helpful educational info on GreedyRates.

Compare Credit Cards by Bank

When searching for a potential credit card to pick up, it’s vital to consider which bank or credit card issuer offers the card. Many Canadians are loyal to one or two banks, and would prefer to keep their business with them instead of an unfamiliar new issuer. Whether because of excellent service, a long-standing relationship or even proximity to the bank’s branches, we do not discount this choice.

Compare Credit Cards by Perks

Our readers can use GreedyRates to sort the best Canadian credit cards by the perks, benefits, and bonuses they most appreciate. For example, you might find cash back worthwhile, while others who travel often might prefer rewards or  travel credit cards more. Credit cards can contain an array of perks that suit virtually any potential cardholder, and maximizing the value you get from the card hinges upon choosing perks that complement your lifestyle.

No Annual Fee

Some banks and issuers charge an annual fee for their credit cards, which tends to increase accordingly with the level of benefits offered. The best rewards cards might cost over $500 per year, but exhibit the potential for greater savings. However, this doesn’t mean that Canadians can’t find a great credit card with no annual fee. No-fee cards come in all shapes and sizes and many offer very lucrative features.

Free Flight Sign-Up Bonus

For travellers and globetrotters in Canada, credit cards that earn miles with any of the country’s excellent travel rewards programs are useful. Even more useful is the instant mileage bonus that comes with many of these cards, which rewards new cardholders with bulk travel miles just for signing up, making a purchase, or sometimes for meeting an initial spending milestone. While it isn’t technically a “free flight,” oftentimes the mileage bonus is enough to redeem for a ticket immediately.

Car Rental Insurance

A big concern when travelling, whether for a vacation or a business trip, is arranging ground transportation while you’re away. Renting cars is the most common solution for gaining mobility, but an inevitable part of renting a car is getting it insured. No one wants to suffer an accident with a bad driver while abroad and get stuck with an enormous bill. Buying insurance from the rental agency is always a good idea, but it’s also possible to get covered through your credit card, saving these fees every time you rent.

Flight Delay Insurance

Flight delays can cause you to miss connections for other legs of a journey, which can ruin your plans and create a sizeable financial hit. In these cases it can be a blessing to have flight delay insurance on your credit card, which pays cardholders when their flights are pushed back for any number of reasons.

Instant Approval

Applying for a credit card typically involves a waiting period while the bank or issuer delves into your credit history, existing debts, income, and other components of your overall creditworthiness. This can be a tiresome wait, and it may be impractical to get the card as much as a month after the application was submitted. At the end of the day, approval isn’t even guaranteed. Applicants who are uncertain about their eligibility will enjoy getting cards from issuers that offer instant approval, regardless of other details.

Travel Medical Insurance

When travellers compare credit cards in Canada, they pay close attention to insurance. Premium travel cards, and frequently even entry-level cards will include some medical insurance coverage during your travels. While on a trip, should you get injured or fall sick and require medical assistance, the card will cover the resulting expenses. You’ll need to pay for it and then call the issuer once you receive the bill, and they will typically credit your account for the sum of the medical care bills. This saves you from shouldering the burden yourself, or from paying for a different travel medical insurance program elsewhere.

Free Companion Tickets

 One of the most rare and valuable perks available through some travel rewards cards is a free companion ticket perk. Only offered on a select few credit cards, you can still use our filter tool to find those that offer this benefit, which is essentially complimentary airfare matching one of your own flights. You can then give this ticket to a friend or relative travelling on the same itinerary. For those with spouses or partners who frequently fly with them, free companion tickets can save a bundle.

Trip Cancellation Insurance

What’s even more disruptive than flight delays? Having a flight cancelled entirely. Shelling out cash for a new flight, new connections and altered accommodations is expensive, so having trip cancellation insurance can be a real benefit in these circumstances. For flights cancelled due to a long list of accepted reasons, cardholders can calculate how much it has cost them and get reimbursed individually or as a group.

Free Hotel Sign-Up Bonus

Like the free airfare sign-up bonus, earning free nights in a hotel from your credit card is more about the points you receive rather than a voucher of some kind. There are many credit cards in Canada that offer enormous amounts of rewards points in bulk, which can be immediately redeemed for free hotel stays—and often, other rewards as well.

Compare Cards by Type

While the perks above allow you to filter with precision, you’re also free to choose the credit cards that appear on our list by the type of card they are. For instance, you may know that cash back delivers the most value per your spending habits, and you can therefore filter out travel cards, US dollar cards, and other irrelevant choices. Choose the card type that’s best for you based on its broader advantages.

Rewards

‘Rewards’ is a broad term accompanied by an equally broad variety of benefits. Rewards cards collect points that are redeemable for an impressive array of products and services including merchandise, gift cards, entertainment, special events, travel packages, and more.

Cash Back

The straightforward benefit of earning money on each of your eligible purchases is called cash back, and it’s the most direct way to reduce your expenses. These cards can offer a variable rate of cash back depending on what you purchase, and often provide a higher rate on the most common purchases such as gas, groceries, restaurants, recurring bills, and more. This makes it important to choose the cashback card that aligns best with your spending habits. However, most have a flat, “catch-all” cashback rate that applies to all purchase categories.

Travel

A travel credit card is a specific kind of rewards card include a variety of add-ons that make trips more comfortable, and less expensive. The peripheral services required by savvy travellers are often included, such as insurance for the flight, rental car, baggage, and any potential medical needs. These cards earn points referred to as ‘miles’, which can be redeemed at whichever airline they’re connected to, and sometimes at others operating within the same network. While travelling, cardholders will enjoy perks like free access to VIP airport lounges, companion flight vouchers, free checked bags, priority boarding and more.

No Foreign Transaction Fee

Foreign transaction fees tend to fly under the radar, but vigilant cardholders know that using a Canadian dollar card abroad tacks on fees of 2.50% or more to each purchase. Banks must do the legwork to exchange money on these purchases, but this hardly justifies such exorbitant fees. Accordingly, travellers who use their card a lot overseas (or who shop from foreign stores online) stand to save a lot of money by avoiding these fees. They can do so by using any of the excellent no-foreign-transaction-fee cards at their disposal.

Specialty

For credit cards that don’t fit in any single category, GreedyRates has the ‘Specialty’ category. The label doesn’t reveal much on its own, but cardholders who are loyal to specific brands or have exacting preferences might find what they need here. Some examples include the GM Visa lineup, which allows you to save up for a new vehicle as you spend. Another exemplary specialty card is for Canadian Football League fans, and allows point redemption on a nice array of memorabilia and gear.

US Dollar

One thing common among all the credit cards on this list are that they hold Canadian dollars, but this isn’t convenient for some cardholders. Those who have homes, relatives, income, and other reasons to be in the US frequently need a tool that cooperates with the financial system there, and that means US dollars. These cards can be connected to US dollar chequing or savings accounts, don’t penalize you for purchases in USD, and help you avoid signing up for an American bank.

*This post was not sponsored. The views and opinions expressed in this review are purely my own.

Article comments

2 comments
Elizabeth says:

I am confused. our plan was to apply for an MBNA Platinum Card no interest rate for 12 months. It seems this card is no longer available. Our goal was to make a large purchase and pay it off within the year. Suggestions?

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Elizabeth,

Thanks for your interest in the MBNA Platinum Plus card…but you’re right, the card isn’t available any longer. After a long run, MBNA finally took the card off the market, but they did leave some similar options for those who would inevitably miss the Platinum Plus. There are two cards issued by MBNA that still offer a 0.00% rate balance transfer promotion, but each only provides this benefit for 6 months, not a year. It’s also less urgent to pay the balance in time, because both cards offer a pretty reasonable post-promotion rate. The MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard offers 0.00% for 6 months, and then 8.99% afterwards in perpetuity (the balance transfer and purchase rate).

There’s also the MBNA True Line Mastercard, which has no annual fee (instead of the Gold card’s $39) but then enjoys a post-promo purchase and transfer rate of 12.99% afterwards. If 6 months at 0.00% is too short a time, and/or 8.99% is too high a rate, opt for something in the middle ground. You can get a balance transfer rate of 5.90% for 30 months through the RBC Visa Platinum card (when you apply through our special link). There’s also a 1.90% rate for 10 months through RBC’s other cards, the Cash Back Mastercard and the Visa Infinite Avion. Essentially, you have several options, and if you need more direction you can email us or follow up here. Thanks again!

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